Guard to be on duty as memorial to slain girl to be raised
This time a guard will be posted overnight to ensure that the concrete has time to dry.
Two yards of mix will be used to secure the new memorial alongside U.S. Highway 50 for Krystal Steadman, a 9-year-old from South Shore who was murdered in March.
The first cross was placed in concrete last month but someone stole it before it had time to set. Packer, a member of the Reno Chapter of Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club who goes by his club nickname, made the cross after a makeshift one had to be removed because it was in the state’s right of way.
The new memorial will be a metal cross encased in wood accompanied by an engraved plaque that will be set in the ground at its base.
Packer and Tamarack Construction, a South Shore company, have donated supplies and labor for the project. Company employees plan to set the cross in concrete with metal bars to discourage thieves.
“We’re getting everything all set up and ready to pour tomorrow – it’s going to go real good,” Packer said. “I did the woodwork. I had to build (the cross) around these railroad rails and fit the wood tight around it.”
A crew from Tamarack expects to start work early Friday morning and hopefully be ready to pour at 11 a.m. If all goes well, they will dedicate the new memorial Saturday around 12:30 p.m.
Gerald Green, co-owner of Tamarack Construction, said a member of his crew had already begun to excavate the area but it still must be level and forms set for the concrete. His partner, John Cobrae, is the one who offered to coordinate construction of the memorial, but this week he was called away on a family matter. Green said he’s happy to take over for his partner and work on something for Krystal.
“It affected me,” Green said. “I moved up here from L.A. where you can’t round a corner without somebody trying something. This is a quiet community, things like this just don’t happen everyday.”
The first cross built by Packer was set 15 feet behind the guardrail alongside U.S. Highway 50 about two miles west of U. S. Highway 395; the same area Thomas Soria Jr. admitted to dropping off Steadman’s body the night she was kidnapped, raped and murdered. Soria Jr. pleaded guilty and was sentenced in July to life in prison without parole for playing a key role in her murder. As part of his plea, Soria Jr. agreed to testify against his father, Thomas Soria Sr., who will be tried for Krystal’s murder in January. The Douglas County District Attorney is seeking the death penalty in the case.
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After a period of dry, warm weather, winter returns this week to Lake Tahoe.